Year Honored: 2007Temple Intermediate School
At the time of the Award, Aaron Chung was:Teacher
Temple Intermediate School
Subject(s) taught: Mathematics
Grade(s): 7, 8
Aaron Chung, math department chair and eighth-grade math teacher at Temple Intermediate School in Rosemead, has helped more than 80 percent of his algebra students achieve proficiency on the state math test. Though his students are primarily Asian and Hispanic immigrants classified as English Language Learners (ELL)—65 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—he has achieved remarkable results, from remedial to advanced levels. Among the most powerful innovations he is involved in is a four-hour Saturday Algebra Academy that he has helped develop and operate—the only one of its kind in the nation. Though the Academy is voluntary, more than 200 of the school's 450 students are enrolled, with many community volunteers devoting their time to help. Chung's contributions have helped transform Temple from the district's lowest-achieving school five years ago to the district's top campus academically, with minority groups and students of low socioeconomic status (SES) experiencing huge gains on the Academic Performance Index (API). His students have performed so well on "challenge" tests for high school courses that they have qualified to take advanced placement tests. Eighty percent of his students go on to pass the high school exit exam.